Where on Earth? - April 2015

Where on Earth - April 2015

Clues for April 2015:

1. The natural entrance shown here and the "Big Room" are among the most popular sites for the more than 380,000 visitors annually to this cavern, located in a mountainous national park of the same name.

2. The cavern is one of nearly 120 known caves in the park carved from fossil-rich limestone that initially formed as a reef along the margin of an inland sea during the Permian. The reef was eventually uplifted into mountains by regional tectonic compression and faulting.

3. Unlike most limestone caves, which form when rain or seawater dissolves the carbonate rock, these caverns are thought to have been created through dissolution by sulfuric acid, which may have formed when microbially produced hydrogen sulfide combined with groundwater.



Name the cavern and its host state.

Scroll down for the answer


Answer: Hosting more than 380,000 visitors each year, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Cavern is one of nearly 120 known caves in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Unlike most caves carved from limestone, Carlsbad is thought to have been created through dissolution by sulfuric acid rather than carbonic acid. Photo is by Lynne McCue.

April Winners:
R.J. Gauthier-Warinner (Interlochen, Mich.)
Tom Kartrude (League City, Texas)
Richard W. Morris (Spokane Valley, Wash.)
Annika Swanson (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Brent Wilkins (Collierville, Tenn.)


Visit the Where on Earth? archive.

EARTH also welcomes your photos to consider for the contest. Learn more about submitting photos here.



The American Geosciences Institute

AGI was founded in 1948, under a directive of the National Academy of Sciences, as a network of associations representing geoscientists with a diverse array of skills and knowledge of our planet.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 06:00

Did you know ...

The digital edition of EARTH Magazine is a free subscription for members of AGI's Member Societies.  Find out more!

EARTH only uses professional science journalists and scientists to author our content?  In this era of fake news and click-bait, EARTH offers factual and researched journalism. But EARTH is a non-profit magazine, and at least 10 times more people read EARTH than pay for it. As advertising revenues across the media decline, we need your help to ensure that we can continue bringing you the reliable and well-written coverage of earth science you know and love. Our goal is not only to inform our readers, but to inform decision makers across the economic and political spectrum about the science of our planet. So, we need your help. By becoming a subscriber or making a tax-deductible contribution to support EARTH, you can fund our writers and help make sure the world knows about our planet.

Make a contribution